When my oldest child was about 13 years old, he asked me to explain what I did for a living. I told him I was an ERISA twit. We then spent some quality time on the Internet, so he could understand what ERISA was and a bit about what I did. Since he was in the mood to actually like me at that time - he found my name on the Internet, after all, giving me immediate credibility - he decided that terminology was demeaning. About 2 weeks later, he came back with the term ERISACRAT and I have since been reveling in it.

To me, an ERISACRAT is someone who takes the concept of the law very seriously, to work towards Employee Retirement Income Security. I hope that I am, in fact, an ERISACRAT or at least on the way to becoming one.

I put the question out to the audience - do you like the term? Probably not too catchy, won't show up on any late night talk show. But, who would you nominate as an ERISACRAT?

The first name that comes to my mind is the late chair of the BNA Pension and Benefits Advisory Board - Michael Gordon. He was a brilliant and generous man and a huge asset to the benefits community. Clearly since he contributed to the writing of ERISA, he deserves the title.

The second name that comes to mind doesn't actually have a name. Somewhere back in 1979, someone decided to eliminate Form EBS-1 - a 30+ page compliance nightmare. Had that filing requirement persisted people would have simply thrown in the towel on sponsoring any benefit plans. So - thanks to you, anonymous ERISACRAT.

I realize this does not have the jazz of "ERISA hottie" but the exercise might trigger some interesting and colorful nominees, so have at it.